The aims of the present study were: (1) to characterize vBMD, bone structure and strength with peripheral quantitative computerized tomography (pQCT) in adolescent swimmers and compare it to normo-active controls (CG); and (2) to evaluate the possible interaction that weight-bearing sports might have on swimmers bone.
The non-dominant radius and tibia of 79 (32 females) swimmers and 49 (22 females) CG (both 11–18 years old) were evaluated at proximal and distal sites with a pQCT scanner. Values of total, trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) were obtained from each scan. Cortical thickness, endosteal and periosteal circumferences were also measured and bone strength indexes were calculated. Analyses of covariance were used to compare variables between groups adjusting for age, tanner stage and bone length. Three different analyses were performed according to present and past sport participation in addition to swimming in order to determine differences among swimmers who had performed or were performing other sports (OTHER-SP) (10 females/17 males) and swimmers who had not performed other sports (NO-OTHER-SP) (22 females/22 males). Both of these groups were compared to each other and to a CG (22 females/27 males).
No differences were found between swimmers and CG for bone strength indexes, structure or vBMD (independently of the compared sample).
These results indicate that swimmers present similar bone strength and structure than CG who did not present high physical activity levels.
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Published online: December 05, 2015
Accepted: November 27, 2015
Received in revised form: October 29, 2015
Received: May 14, 2015
© 2015 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.